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Young people with mental-health challenges get more support

Press Release

Sept. 5, 2023

VANCOUVER – Teens and young adults struggling with stress and anxiety will benefit from a mental wellness training program that will support them on their journey to well-being.

The Province is investing $3 million over the next three years to support the continued delivery of YMCA’s Y Mind and Mind Medicine programs in 30 communities across B.C. Y Mind offers a free seven-week program that teaches teens from 13 to 18 and young adults, from 18 to 30 strategies to cope with stress and anxiety.

“Young people have faced unprecedented challenges over the past few years, and many are struggling with stress and anxiety,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “We know that more young people are reaching out for help with mental-health challenges and this program helps provide the tools they need to not only cope, but to thrive.”

The Mind Medicine program helps Indigenous-serving organizations deliver Y Mind in a culturally responsive way. Mind Medicine facilitators incorporate culture into the program, such as local stories and cultural practices.

These skills-based group programs are led by trained mental-health professionals and delivered in a supportive environment. There is no cost and referrals are not required.

“We are incredibly proud to deliver the Y Mind and Mind Medicine programs so those in our communities who need it can access valuable mental-wellness tools, resources and support,” said Samantha Hartley-Folz, VP, community programs, YMCA BC. “The YMCA is incredibly grateful to the Province of B.C. for their ongoing support of the Y Mind and Mind Medicine programs, and we look forward to continuing our work with government so even more people can access and benefit from these life-changing and impactful programs.”

Since 2018, the program has served more than 3,700 people. Together, it is anticipated that these programs will reach 1,800 youth over the next three years.

To register, contact YMCA BC via, call 604 673-6170, or go online and fill out an inquiry form at:

Enhancing supports for young people living with mental-health and addiction challenges is an integral part of A Pathway to Hope, B.C.’s road map for building a comprehensive system of mental-health and addiction care for British Columbians.


Spencer Chandra-Herbert, MLA for Vancouver-West End –

“There is an urgent need to support young people with mental-health challenges across the province. Funding for the YMCA will help youth learn the appropriate skills to cope with mild to moderate anxiety and stress right in their own communities.”

Mandy Thayil, Y Mind manager and facilitator, YMCA BC –

“As a Y Mind facilitator, it’s amazing to see the power of group connection. Participants have shared that they don’t usually have a space to talk with each other about anxiety and Y Mind not only provided that space for them, but it also fostered supportive friendships that continued beyond the program.”

Quick Facts:

  • Approximately 75% of serious mental-health issues emerge before age 25.
  • The YMCA is a non-profit organization that helps vulnerable children and families by promoting healthy living and reducing isolation through programs at more than 250 locations across the province.
  • Y Mind was first developed by the YMCA of Greater Vancouver.

Learn More:

Learn about A Pathway to Hope, government’s vision for mental-health and addictions care in B.C.:

YMCA BC, Greater Vancouver Region:


Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions
250 880-7117


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